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NBA: D-Will plays well, but his Nets lose to Jazz again

Published March 30, 2013 10:48 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Deron Williams played his fourth game against the Jazz on Saturday night since he was traded to Brooklyn.

He scored 21 points, handed out 11 assists and ­— at times — flashed the All-Star form he displayed almost nightly during 51/2 seasons in Utah.

It wasn't enough.

Despite Williams' best effort in two years against his former team, the Jazz improved to 4-0 against his Nets with a 116-107 victory.

Williams wasn't in a hurry to talk about the game.

As a dozen reporters waited, he casually dressed, signed a pair of sneakers for the ball boys, visited with a couple of kids dressed in Brooklyn jerseys and greeted a Jazz employee who dropped in to say hello.

When he began fielding questions, one of the first was about his reaction to another cool reception by the crowd of 18,008 at EnergySolutions Arena.

"The booing wasn't as bad as last year," he said. "So it's getting better. Maybe next year I'll get a couple of cheers."

Despite the reception, Williams added, "I have no animosity. I mean, I had a great time in Utah. I don't have anything to say bad about the fans.

"They're going to react the way they react and they're going to think what they're going to think. I can't really change that. I just have a lot of love for them, so …"

Williams has battled a series of injuries during his time with the Nets. Asked if physical improvement was the reason he played his best game yet against his former team, Williams smiled.

"I really appreciate your concern with my health," he said. "There are a lot of guys concerned with my health lately.

"We lost, you know. I haven't won against the Jazz yet. I just want to get a win. So maybe next year is the year."

For Brooklyn, the game in Utah was its seventh straight on the road. The Nets came off a 109-87 loss in Denver on Friday.

Fatigue could have been a factor in their second-half letdown against Utah, but Williams downplayed the suggestion.

"You don't like to make excuses," he said. "They play really well in this building. That's the main thing, I think. [Randy] Foye went nuts in the third quarter and we never fully recovered. If you fall behind this team by 20 in this building, it's really hard to come back. I've been on the other side of it, so I know."

Foye finished with 26 points. He tied a franchise record by making eight 3-point shots in only nine attempts.

"He just got hot," Williams said. "We let him loose in transition and he was pulling up from three [or] four feet behind the line. He had a heck of a game tonight." —

Williams returns

• Deron Williams scores 21 points and hands out 11 assists, but the Nets lose their fourth straight game to the Jazz since he was traded two years ago.